Finding Passion, Profit, and Purpose in your Photography Business with Dr Tomayia Colvin
Dr Tomayia Colvin shares her strategies on running a photography business that feeds your personal why and embraces diversity, while staying profitable and fueled with a passion for your craft.
How did you get in photography? (4:01)
I used to be a scrapbooker, and I needed photos for layout!
Why did you choose senior photography to specialize in? (4:38)
I was a middle and high school teacher, so it was a natural progression.
Do you have any time management tips? (6:22)
Make a schedule that works for you specifically. I go to bed late, and get up late, and that works for me.
How do you figure out who your ideal client is? (9:15)
Your ideal client is not the same as your competition’s ideal client. You want someone who is attracted to you and that you appeal to. If they go to competition, they weren’t meant for you.
How can photographers become leaders in their photography business or community (12:09)
Know that there are times when you should put on a leadership hat, and times when you put on your learner hat. It’s not necessary to always be the center of attention. Sometimes our calling is not to be the leader, but rather to be a support.
How do you raise your prices and see your value? (15:23)
Face the fear. The lower your prices are, the more you have to work which turns into burnout. When burnt out, you cannot enjoy the fruits of your labour.
How often should you reevaluate your prices? (17:26)
Every time you decide to do anything different, like getting a studio.
How do you get over the embarrassment of your prices being too low? (18:43)
Realize that you’re not the only one. Realistically, everyone isn’t running their numbers every day. But make a start, and look at your numbers. If you see a problem, do something about it – reduce expenses, sell items, freeze purchases, etc. You should be charging realistically regardless of whether photography is your hobby or your sole income.
What do you do when you are feeling stagnant in your photography business? (21:44)
Take a step back from your photography business, and do a personal project and find your love again. Find your fun again. Photograph the things that bring you joy.
Why is having a purpose and a personal “why” so important? (23:24)
It is the thing that drive you every day. Knowing why you do something will drive you to do that thing every day. Success is different for everyone
What is “The Photo Cookout”? (25:03)
It is a conference tailored for black photographers. It was the result of a “what would you do if you weren’t scared” question.
What do you wish more photographers knew about showing diversity in their work? (28:10)
It starts at home. Know who your kids’ friends are. Make your own friend circle diverse. And Be able to listen to different perspectives.
What advice do you have for brand new photographers? (29:02)
Concentrate on your why. Keep dreaming. Keep learning. All the hardships I endured were important for my growth.
What are you creatively curious about? (32:52)
I’m trying to figure out where my next passion is.
If you enjoyed this podcast, be sure to check out our Podcast with Erin Elizabeth all about running a profitable photography business.
Discover more about Dr Tomayia Colvin
Bio: Dr. Tomayia Colvin has been photographing high school seniors for more than nine years and was a classroom teacher for more than 10 years. She is also the founder of Tomayia Colvin Education, an online photography community created to empower photographers of color, the LGBTQ+ community, and be a safe haven of inclusion and diversity. She’s been an educator on Creative Live, WPPI, Imaging USA, B&H Depth of Field, United hosted by Showit, and a host of others. Dr. Colvin was recently named a Sony Artisan of Imagery.
She has been featured in articles in Professional Photography Magazine, Rangefinder Magazine, ShootProof, Black Enterprise, local newspapers, and radio stations.
Dr. Colvin is also the author of two best-selling children’s books, Mya’s Big Adventures: Career Day and The Adventure of Jaxon Maxwell: Jaxon Saves Christmas.
Additionally, she’s the proud founder and host of The Photo Cookout that celebrates and supports Black photographers and photographers of color.
Resources shared in this episode:
Building Your Story Brand book by Donald Miller
Free Pricing Calculator
The Photo Cookout
I’m on a mission to create uplifting online experiences for photographers ready to elevate their art, their business and their mindset.(...and have fun along the way!)